The surveys we did on feeling love or respect showed an interesting dichotomy on thoughts about a man’s job.
Men said the following about how their wives could make them feel respected:
- Seeing that my work provides for our family and should be seen as more of a priority.
- Comment positively on my work.
- Thank me for going to work.
- I know she respects my work because she tells me verbally.
- …it would be nice to hear her say: …thanks for working so hard…
- Compliment my work.
Women said things like this would make them feel loved:
- Show me that I am more important than your work.
- Prioritize us above work…
Clearly, there is a difference here. While it is possible to do both, how you each feel about his job can cause him to feel you do not respect him while you feel unloved.
One woman expressed a problem I have seen a number of times
- He says that by him going to work is him showing his love but I wish he would touch me and kiss me more.
Some men do feel going to work is all they must do to prove their love. These men are wrong, and I tell them so. They have allowed a God given part to become the whole. He needs to learn to show her love in other ways – ways that matter to her.
On the other side there was this comment:
- I know he thinks work is a way he expresses love for me and our family. I try to appreciate that. But I think working mostly fulfills his own basic need to feel productive.
Men have a deep need to provide for their wife and kids. While many women work, and some do so by choice, I have never met a woman who feels the same need to work most men feel. It is not an option – we must do it. Men who are out of work feel horrible, even if there is enough money for their family because of savings or the wife’s job. Without employment, he does not feel like a man. I have noticed something similar with men who retire. They may enjoy what they do, but they feel lost. They have given up something vital for their mental health, and it hurts them. I have seen men age rapidly after they retire, and I think it is because they no longer have a purpose in life. Some find a way around this, but most suffer to some degree.
So yes, a man does work because he needs to do so to feel productive. This is how God made him. Wives who understand this show their husband appreciation and respect for his work. He responds to her respect by showing love. When a wife fails to show appreciation for his work, or even worse complains about his work, he feels disrespected and he withdraws.
The choice belongs to you – just know what you reap will depend on what you do and say.